Tow Behind Aerators?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by 1toomanyhobbies, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. 1toomanyhobbies

    1toomanyhobbies LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    I get the impression most people don't like tow behind aerators. I am looking at doing leaf cleanup part time this fall and thinking about getting a tow behind aerator to offer as an additional service. I know with tow behinds you would have to run over the property twice but if it is behind a ZTR, is it really going to take much time?

    I am looking a used billy goat only used one season with asking price of $1200. I know that is a professional quality but wondering if I could go with an Ohio Steel professional unit http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200418157_200418157. I know the Ohio won't last as long but I figure it is a lower entry point for a service that at most Ill probably do 10 yards this fall.

    So I guess I'm really asking two questions. 1) If I am willing to run over yard twice, is there anything wrong with tow behind? 2) Do you think the Ohio Steel unit I listed work or do I really need to be looking at the used Billy Goat?
     
  2. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,133

  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,748

    I have the 48" JD plugger. It is made by Brinly Hardy, but to JD's much heavier duty specs, and it is a solid unit. It works great. I've had it for several years, and as long as I take care of it (which I do) it'll last me a long time to come. I pull it behind an old JD garden tractor instead of my ZTR. The 48" model has a lot of spoons, and when they sink in good ( I use 252 lbs of suitcase weights on the tray), it puts a load on the tow unit, thus the reason I use my GT which is built for that type thing.
     
  4. seabee003

    seabee003 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    How do you secure the suitcase weights?
     
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,748

    I lay them on an old cargo blanket inside the built-on weight tray.
     
  6. seabee003

    seabee003 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    Thnx, I thought you might have something more exotic like a braket etc to attach the weights. Sometimes, simple is best! :).

    I use fetilizer bags held in with bungee cords (~150-160 lbs) but I may try your idea as I like the convenience of using the suitcase weights. Do the weights want to jump out when you are on a hill or riding fast? I use a 4x6 Gator and can go faster than tractors or Z's. I know Deere recommends 3-5 mph but in my experience you get somewhat better (deeper) plugs the faster you go.
     
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,748

    It's just the opposite for me, at least IME, regarding speed. I can go much faster, but I have repeatedly watched the plugs as they go in and they always go deeper when I go slower. I usually plug at 3-4 MPH.

    I don't have any issues with the weights at that speed either, but I could see that it might be possible for problems to arise if I did speed up. Another reason I go slow is to give the spoons time to rise up and over shallow roots. Going faster can bend them a lot easier. I use three 70#'er's and one 42#'er, so they stay in place pretty well.
     
  8. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,133

    We just set 4 solid concrete blocks on top of ours. We dont even fasten them down. Never had one jump off.



    [​IMG]
     
  9. seabee003

    seabee003 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    One thing for sure about speed, if you hit solid rock with one tine taking the brunt, it's lifetime is short. I don't think I understand your comment re the shallow roots and speed, but I am going to try slower to see if my perception of speed and depth was wrong. Also you are using a lot more weight and that may be the best approach to getting depth (or course all assuing the soil moisture is right -- not too wet and certainly not dry).

    Thnx for comments.
     
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,748

    Your sentence right before the one in bold is what I meant about hitting shallow roots at faster speeds. Rarely does more than one tine/spoon per spider hit a root at the same time to help spread the load, thus you end up with damaged spoons as you stated.
     

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